I wanted to practice my pick up skills last night so I decided to go the bookstore. I was feeling different this time – more relaxed and chilled. I have to give credit to mygalfriday78 and Louisa about their suggestions on my Approach #11 post. I wasn’t going to be as direct as I was previously – where I approach women very quickly and say something direct like “you seem interesting so I wanted to talk to you” as I had done before. No… This time I wanted to be more subtle and indirect.

The bookstore has a Starbucks coffee shop attached to it so I walk through the coffee shop first, seeing if there are any women I can approach there. I even have a question I’m ready to ask (“is there a power outlet for a laptop here?”) if I see her. I see two women sitting together and chatting very intensely – I’m not ready for that kind of approach yet so I move on and go into the bookstore.

As I step out of the coffee shop and into the bookstore, I notice this older lady (45ish) giving me a look – you know, “the look”, which kind of startled me, but maybe I’m getting more attune to these signs from women now. She was there with her husband and I wasn’t really that interested anyway, so I smiled – warmly, openly, but continued to move on. I move through the aisles, casually glancing at the books (I love bookstores so it’s always a treat to go to one even if I’m not practicing pick up). I notice another older woman (55ish) by the best seller non-fiction section and I decide that I’ll just say hello to her – no pick up, no “maybe we can go for coffee”, just a simple conversation. I open the conversation with “is there anything good?” She was reading some book with an intense look. She looks up and smiles and says, “Yes, there are lots to choose from.” We politely talk for another minute or two and I move on feeling like I’m ready to talk with women that I’m actually interested in. It’s almost like I need to warm up before the main event – like stretching before running.

I move to the philosophy section and I see two young women there. One is relatively attractive, in a normal way (certainly not hot) and the other is the “unattractive fat friend”. They seem like they’re in their early to mid twenties and they’re wearing long skirts and the attractive one is wearing a Star of David around her neck – what is it with me and finding religous Jewish women for pick ups?

Honestly, I wasn’t super interested but I think of it as a great opportunity to practice. So I open with a question about the philosophy book the attractive one is reading – something like, “Is that an interesting book?” She responds very openly and tells me more about it. We start talking casually about philosophy – turns out she was a philosophy major but is now a teacher. We must have talked for a good 5-10 minutes while her fat friend was mostly silently looking on. I didn’t feel the pressure to ask them to join me for coffee or to get their phone numbers, which, ironically, made the whole interaction go a lot smoother. I’ve commented on this phenomenon before, where the less I care, the better results I seem to get.

Finally, she says that they should get going as they have a lot of books to purchase, so I bid them farewell. I was debating whether to ask them to join me for coffee just for the sake of practice but decided not to.

So then I keep wondering the store and spot this rather attractive (late 20s to early 30s) woman in the travel section. Again, I try to be subtle and not “corner” her by starting to browse right next to her. I even browse some books close to her section but not in the same aisle. She then moves to the nearby health section, which is in an open space. I casually start looking in the health section, too, but a good 10-15 feet away – feeling out the vibes from her… Then she leaves the health section, which I interpret to mean she’s not interested. This phenomenon has happened to me before and I’m starting to think of it as subtle way from women to say their not interested in being approached. (Do you agree?)

So I’m ready to call it the night when, lo and behold, I see the original two women that I talked to at the philosophy section. I walk over to them, now as if we know each other, and ask “So what happened, I thought you guys were going to leave?” The attractive one says they couldn’t help themselves and got sucked into looking at more books. So then I decide to go for it – I ask, ever so casually, “Listen, I was going to go to Starbucks to grab a drink and I thought maybe you guys could join me.” They both smile and look at each other with that girlie “oh my God, I can’t believe he just asked us out” look, but they bow out, saying they have to purchase the books and besides, the coffee shop will be closing in 15 minutes. I look at my watch and fake a “Oh, I guess you’re right.” I tell them it was nice to meet them and bid them farewell – again. I notice the fat friend is smiling at the attractive one and giving her that “eye look”, which I interpret to mean that they’ll have lots to talk about after they leave the store.

Things I learned

  • Being indirect seems to work better than being direct. By talking about something else besides the woman, puts her more at ease. Instead of saying how I find her attractive or interesting or whatever, I can discuss the book that she’s reading or what she studied in college and through that get the vibes of whether she’s interested in continuing this further. This is a big realization and I think I’ll use this more often from now on. Women just aren’t the same as guys – they have a much stronger sense of danger, so saying something direct like “You look interesting and I wanted to talk to you” right off the bat can cause alarm bells to go off in their heads – not what I want.
  • Not caring as much about the outcome makes the interaction a lot more fun and easy going. This is a difficult one to grasp for me, and I think a lot of guys, so by no means am I an expert at this. But I’m getting just a taste of what it means to truly not care about the outcome and how women can pick up on that. When I talked to the two women tonight, I was just curious to see where it would go and I just wanted to make a connection – that’s it. I didn’t want to sleep with them or even go out with them and I wasn’t even sure about whether to ask them out. And yet I felt I was in some ways pretty close to an actual pick up tonight.
  • Include all the women in the group. I could have made the fat friend feel more included while I was talking with the attractive one. I had nothing against her and she seemed nice but when she was sitting rather quietly listening to us interact, I could have made her feel more included. I did ask her a few questions but she was mostly on the outside watching the two of us interact. As an added benefit, including her in our conversation would have served me well when I finally popped the question of whether they want to join me for a drink because then I would’ve befriended both of them so all three of us could have had a fun time talking.